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What was the first pair of climbing shoes you ever owned?
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Oct 24, 2008
My first pair were Pierre Allains (-5 for spelling) which were red and black with rubber as hard as a semi tire. Bought them in 1973. Second pair were EBs. Tradster
From Phoenix, AZ
Joined Nov 13, 2007
6 points
Oct 24, 2008
Jack Ripper
Boreal Zephyr. Not particularly sensitive. I replaced them with Boreal Stingers and immediately climbed an entire grade harder. Dave Pilot
From Boulder, CO
Joined Jun 19, 2004
63 points
Oct 24, 2008
Climber Drawing
Kastinger Kletter's circa 1971 Tom Hanson
Joined Jan 1, 2001
1,125 points
Oct 24, 2008
In the sea of Cortez - Baja California, Mexico
La Sportive Katanas...circa 2007 :-)

Yes, that's not really appropriate for this thread, but I wanted to ask some of the...ahem...more experienced climbers who are posting here what have been the biggest, best changes to shoes over time. Stickier rubber, etc.

Seems like a lot of the 'non-shoe' gear inventions/changes are fairly large, obvious improvements - like the introduction of cams. Was there a big leap in shoe design?

Just interested in some of the history here..

-Adam
AJS
From Boulder, CO
Joined Mar 4, 2008
33 points
Oct 24, 2008
Was this thread started to deliberately force people to divulge their age?

EBs. Mid to ate 70s. Before that, I actually climbed quite a few things at Josh and Tahquitz (up to 5.6) in a pair of Adidas basketball shoes. But hey, I was only 13 or 14.

Edit: to address Adams' questions, it was stickier rubber by far. Once Fires came out, the floodgates opened. Ninjas didn't hurt either, since that proved that you could climb lots of things with a non-lasted type shoes.
Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Joined Nov 9, 2007
137 points
Administrator
Oct 24, 2008
Pure bliss..
The REI catalog(which was 3 pages 1983) only sold red or blue Asolos, I got the blue. But I learned in PA's. Fun topic.

Blueys
Blueys
Hank Caylor
From Golden, CO
Joined Dec 9, 2003
589 points
Oct 24, 2008
Fat Dad wrote:
Was this thread started to deliberately force people to divulge their age? EBs. Mid to ate 70s. .


That wasn't really the intent, but from my post you can probably guess my age. Let's just say the first presidential election I voted in was Jimmy Carter 1976. Where's my Beltone?
Tradster
From Phoenix, AZ
Joined Nov 13, 2007
6 points
Oct 24, 2008
In the sea of Cortez - Baja California, Mexico
Fat Dad wrote:
Once Fire came out


Man, you *are* old! You were there for the invention of fire! Soon thereafter the wheel was invented, right? :-)

/kidding!
AJS
From Boulder, CO
Joined Mar 4, 2008
33 points
Administrator
Oct 24, 2008
Artist Tears P3
First pair of real shoes were a second hand pair of PA's I picked up when I was 14. Then it was EB's, then Asolos, then Boreal Fires. The Fires changed everything overnight. I got mine in 83 or 84.

I'm pretty much a five ten shoe person these days.
John McNamee
From Littleton, CO
Joined Jul 29, 2002
1,913 points
Oct 24, 2008
Finishing up Elusive Dream at the King Wall.  Adir...
Onesports. Used to be the sister company of Montrail...don't know what's happened to them (the company or the shoes!)...it's been a long, long time. Chris Duca
From Havertown, PA
Joined Dec 16, 2006
2,351 points
Oct 24, 2008
Me
Vertical Friction Loafers, circa 1992.
Still have 'em :-)
My first pair of climbing shoes: Vertical Friction...
My first pair of climbing shoes:
Vertical Friction Loafers, circa 1992
Cathy
Joined Jul 7, 2006
97 points
Oct 24, 2008
AJS wrote:
Man, you *are* old! You were there for the invention of fire! Soon thereafter the wheel was invented, right? :-) /kidding!


Ha ha. I'm ONLY 44, which is the new 31 or something like that.
Though I still hope for many good climbing years ahead of me, a word to the wise: squeeze in all you can when you're young. If you've played hard in your youth, once you get in the neighborhood of 35 or 40, little things like tendons and joints start falling apart.
Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Joined Nov 9, 2007
137 points
Oct 24, 2008
Cathy wrote:
Vertical Friction Loafers, circa 1992. Still have 'em :-)
I had a pair of them, too. Hurt to crack climb in them ,however.
Tradster
From Phoenix, AZ
Joined Nov 13, 2007
6 points
Oct 24, 2008
I had a pair of RRs, blue suede shoes, in 1971. I climb mostly in Ninjas now. Dana Bartlett
From CT
Joined Nov 18, 2003
963 points
Oct 24, 2008
You wanna' look like this when ya get old!
I don't know the names of them, but I think they were made by Laytok?, 1984ish, blue suede, hi-top, rubber so hard it had the durometer of cast iron... Deaun Schovajsa
Joined May 17, 2006
266 points
Oct 24, 2008
My first pair were Merrell Flashdances in the late 80s. They had bright blue leather, yellow laces, and a huge pink triangle on the side. Merrell decided to stop using pink triangles on their shoes in the early 90s, for some reason;-).

JohnJ80302
From Boulder, Colorado
Joined Sep 12, 2006
21 points
Oct 24, 2008
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "...
A pair of hand-me-down Vasque Ascents from perhaps the later 70's or early 80's. Still have them for walls- they fit loose, heave tread, and are stiffer than a board.
Second pair was Kamet Joshua Trees, circa late-80's. I forget when they stopped importing those... shortly thereafter I went to the 5.10/Vertical hightops (this was when 5.10 was made in the USA), then I firted with the old 'Vertical' Razors (there were bright orange with purple print, Circa 1989?) the Boreal Vector (wrong shape for my foot) and a few others before to the 5.10 lynx in 1990 or 1991. Those were my "good" shoes and I've never found anything that fit and performed as well for my foot. Been in La Sportiva Kaukulators and Mythos for the most part since then, with a few other pairs here and there like Red Chili spirits (great out fo the box, but stretch too much), and Red Chili Saulsalitos (the red ones) which are VERY stiff and edge very well, but are not sensitive enough for my taste.

My all time favorite shoes:

Trad: La Sprotiva Kaukulators 0- the early Blue ones.
Performance: 5.10 Lynx- the early ones that didn't fall apart.
Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Joined Jan 1, 2001
23,493 points
Oct 24, 2008
rockerwaves
My first technical climbing shoes was a pair of the grey Krohnhoffer kletter shoes. Like the ones that Layton Kor is wearing in the famous photo that Alan Hill had so magnificently reproduced in glorious velvet.
There were a number of options on the market at the time. RRís were one choice.
I consulted my climbing guruís (Mark Hess and Larry Bruce) they recommended that I buy the Kronehoffers three sizes too small. I was to wear them through three cycles of soaking in hot water and completely drying. They didnít steer me wrong. I could stand on the thinnest edges and they jammed well in cracks also. They had no rubber rands so I had to keep patching them. They became so comfortable that I could do most approaches in my climbing shoes.
Olaf Mitchell
From Paia, Maui, Hi,
Joined Mar 16, 2007
4,261 points
Oct 24, 2008
Owens Gorge.  Mt Tom in background.
EB's (1982)

Also recall having a pair of, I think they were called, Galibier "contacts," for slab climbing on the Apron (1984)
Zirkel
From Bishop, CA
Joined Mar 18, 2007
125 points
Oct 24, 2008
Calma Adherienca, red and grey high tops that were around right before Fires came out. tim maloney
Joined Feb 1, 2007
6 points
Administrator
Oct 24, 2008
Belay
I think I still have mine around somewhere...

They were a pair of board-lasted LaSportiva lace-ups. Dark blue with yellow laces, c.a. 1996.
Peter Franzen
From Phoenix, AZ
Joined Jan 1, 2001
4,021 points
Oct 24, 2008
Bouldering on Rabbit Mtn. Photo by Forrest Weller
A pair of Vasque climbing boots in 82. By the time I realized my error in not getting EBs, Fires came out and my climbing jumped a couple of grades immediately.

First pair of climbing shoes.
First pair of climbing shoes.
Keen Butterworth
From Boulder
Joined Feb 27, 2006
1,442 points
Administrator
Oct 24, 2008
Waiting for lift-off, Thin Air(5.6) Cathedral Ledg...
Scarpa Eclipses, they were truly awful Ladd Raine
From Plymouth, NH
Joined Feb 21, 2006
7,202 points
Oct 24, 2008
World Champion NY Giants logo
Reebok climbing shoes. Yea I said Reebok. Todd Skinner designed them for his free attempt on Trango. I bought them from Sierra Trading Post for about $30. I liked them so much I bought another pair. I still have them and use them on long routes. Sergio P
From Idaho Springs, CO
Joined Oct 23, 2004
237 points
Oct 24, 2008
The Needle, Prospect Mtn (not RMNP)Photo by Jay Eg...
Boreal Fires circa 1986. Upgraded to La Sportiva Mythos in 1992 and still like them. (Of course, I still have the Fires too, in my "museum".) Rick Witting
Joined Jul 19, 2005
83 points
Oct 24, 2008
Stabby
JohnJ80302 wrote:
My first pair were Merrell Flashdances in the late 80s. They had bright blue leather, yellow laces, and a huge pink triangle on the side. Merrell decided to stop using pink triangles on their shoes in the early 90s, for some reason;-).


Those were the damn things I started out in. They have this really stupid 2 lace thing that makes no sense, its not like the 2nd lace augments a certain torque, its just an extra lace.

I was dragged into climbing by my best buddy at the time. I was essentially a vampire, working the door at a Denver nightclub and pretending to be a UCD student during the day. Lots of bad habits going on then. Eric essentially kidnapped me on day and drove me down to Mountain Miser, where these things were on sale. "Buy these, now."

I never throw anything away. My first 4 pairs in c...
I never throw anything away. My first 4 pairs in chronological order

Here's my first 4 pair, you're looking at about 20 Rockn Resole jobs there.
Mike Lane
From Centennial, CO
Joined Jan 21, 2006
839 points


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